Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Pills or public health?

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 18 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1791

Re: Pills or public health?

We know that hypertension,diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and smoking are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Control of these risk factors does reduce the risk of stokes and heart attacks.
Giving pills only gives people a false sense of security and as a consequence some of them will ignore doing exercise and some will eat more sugary food and more fat as well as salt despite being diabetic,obese and hypertensive, simply because they wrongly feel they are secure by the pills.
Making life style changes (eating less sugar and less salt ,reducing weight and doing more exercise) as the primary intervention for managing such illness while preserving pills as back up for those who could not achive adequate control of their risk factors may improve the moral of people by not designating them as sick people, make them feel in charge of improving their health and with time they feel healthier as they get rid of such illnesses without taking pills. If they fail to achieve good control then pills will be given with instructions that keeping on healthy life style ,with time , the need for pills may become less.
So people will feel they are healthy and able to sustain their well being without pills.

Competing interests: No competing interests

20 April 2019
Ghassan Musleh
Heart Surgeon
King Fahad Hospital, Tabuk KSA
Tabuk, kSA